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Staples' student program aims to incubate innovators


Staples is empowering students to "Make Innovation Happen” with a new program that promotes research, collaboration and entrepreneurial thinking.

The retailer's Designed by Students program will allow students from two middle schools, MS88 in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Ga., to participate in a curriculum to foster creative thinking and teach students about designing innovative products. The program provides an original, educational experience to students. Staples is donating $50,000 to both schools as part of the program.

“The first Designed by Students program gave students the opportunity to learn and solve real-life problems. Students were able to see how their ideas and creativity transformed into innovative new products,” said Scott Young, senior vice president of product and business development, Staples.

Students from MS88 and Ron Clark Academy collaborated on 16 different teams to develop a new line of innovative school supply products to bring to customers. Students at the schools defined the problem, researched products, collaborated to identify potential solutions, built prototypes and pitched a final design concept, all the while learning valuable skills and gaining confidence in their everyday life.

“The Designed by Students program provides amazing opportunities in which students identify problems and create products specifically designed for students by students,” said Ailene Mitchell, principal MS 88. “The partnership between Staples and Middle School 88 exemplifies a collaborative and engaging learning experience where students’ curiosity and understanding is realized through research and hands-on engineering experiences. By actively engaging our students in design learning we are saying that their ideas have immediate impact. Practical application of skills can solve real-world problems which is the very core of STEM education.”

“Our students' collaboration with Staples has been one of the most innovative and engaging projects I have seen during my time in education,” said Ron Clark, co-founder of the Ron Clark Academy. “By listening to the opinions and needs of our youth, Staples has been able to create products that speak to the desires and tastes of the new generation; and therefore, as always, Staples is completely in tune with the demands of the market."

The Staples Designed by Students Collection of products will be available at select Staples stores and on starting June 28.

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